Ways to Develop Communication Skills at Work
What skills is a successful employee supposed to have? First of all, your boss expects you to be productive. They want you to do your job well, meet deadlines, and contribute towards the company’s growth. They invest in you as an employee, so they expect a return on that investment.
You’re not expected to do this alone, though. The communication between the employees is crucial for the success of any organization. It’s a foundational skill that every employer expects you to have.
Good communication skills lead to improved productivity. Are you wondering how that’s the case? Whenever you’re stuck with a task at work, you can push it forward if you collaborate with your colleagues. When you share experiences, you learn from each other and you get better at what you do.
The only question is: is it possible to improve your communication skills? Of course it is! We’ll give you effective tips that give results.
1. Learn how to listen
Listening is one of the most important communication skills. In order to respond to someone’s arguments, questions or comments, you have to listen first. Never interrupt the person speaking, even if it takes too long for them to make a point. Don’t let your mind wander. If you’re not doing your best to understand, you won’t maintain good communication.
It’s important to develop the skill of active listening. Whenever someone is giving a presentation at work, you’re not doing your best to listen. Change that attitude! Respect the person speaking and ask interesting questions related to the topic. Show you listened!
When someone is talking to you and you’re not sure you understand, ask: “To clarify this, what you’re saying is…” When you’re sure you understand, you can respond appropriately.
2. Don’t use fillers when you talk
Those um’s are a bad habit. They don’t improve your speech; they affect it in a very negative way. If you use fillers like um, like or sort of, you’re showing you’re not confident in the things you say. Even if this is just a habit you can’t get rid of, it makes you look unconfident and people don’t believe you.
Relax. Pay attention to the words you say and try to avoid the fillers as much as possible. It takes practice to break this bad habit, but you’ll get there. The difference in the way you communicate ideas will be huge.
3. Learn the small talk
You’re making a big mistake if you think that the office is for professional communication only. If you avoid personal conversations with your colleagues, you look like a cold person. Nobody likes those people. They don’t care that you’re an introvert and you have difficulties with small talk; they just want you to be part of the office culture. Small talk is a big part of the office culture, and it improves the overall communication between the employees.
Good news: you can practice small talk. Follow the FORD method (family, occupation, recreation, dreams). It gives you endless topics to turn into conversations and avoid the awkward silent moments.
4. Focus on problems instead of personality
When you face a conflict at work and you’re looking for solutions, you need to communicate as professionally as possible. Forget about all small talks. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re on good terms with the people you’re talking to.
Focus on the problem and be as objective as possible. Use facts to understand and explain the issue to the supervisor or manager. Don’t try to resolve the situation when you’re angry. Wait for few hours, put your thoughts together. When you’re confident you can speak in calm and convincing tone, do it!
5. Be empathic
Empathy is very important for effective communication. Remember: you can’t always be right. You’ll often have different opinions and points of view from the rest of the team. You would like them to consider your arguments, right? Well, you should do the same. Understand where their thoughts, emotions, and opinions come from.
Stay in tune with your own emotions, so you’ll understand where they are coming from. Are you judging someone unfairly just because you had an argument yesterday? Are they treating you unfairly because you didn’t do them a favor when they asked for it? Are they nervous because they are going through serious personal problems?
People are never perfect. They are just people. When you understand them at their best and worst, you’ll take the communication to a whole new level of effectiveness.
Success on any position in any industry is impossible without proper communication skills. No one is asking you to become the star of every party. You just need to work on these skills, so you can talk to people in a civilized, convincing manner. Such attitude will definitely make you a more productive and valuable worker.